Knights in Conversation: Graduating Seniors

Knights+in+Conversation%3A+Graduating+Seniors

Ford Legg, Editor-in-Chief

Seniors Charlie Druker, Charlie Goebel, Dylan Higgins, and Konstantin Lukin Yelin have collectively been at BB&N for 40 years. Each of them sampled different opportunities the Upper School has to offer like the Winter Musical, Boys Rowing, Speech and Debate, Boys Hockey, and The Vanguard. As they approach their last days at the school, The Vanguard assembled the four seniors over a game of Spikeball and listened to them reflect on their time at BB&N.

 

How was senior year different from the rest of your time at BB&N?

Dylan: I’m a lifer, and junior to senior year is the biggest change I’ve felt. I didn’t get more homework from fifth to sixth grade or change campuses from eighth grade to freshman year. But I entered senior year already having one foot outside of BB&N, and the faculty is starting to motivate me to look beyond BB&N to my life in college, so during senior year, I’m at BB&N, but I’m looking beyond BB&N as well.

Konstantin: I’m looking forward during senior year, imagining a life in college that isn’t far away. I’m reaching for the door to leave BB&N while trying to take in the rest of my time here.

Charlie D: I customized my schedule and classes senior year more than any other year. I was given the tools to have full freedom to execute a schedule with a nice balance between schoolwork, general fun, and excitement.

 

How are you feeling about being a freshman again in the fall?

Dylan: I expect it’s going to be different than entering freshman year of high school. As a freshman coming into high school, I felt like a bottom feeder while every sophomore, junior, and senior seemed like they knew so much more than me. But in college, I hope everybody minds their business a bit more and there’s less of a distinction between grades.

Konstantin: Everyone has that raised level of maturity once they’re in college. Being a freshman won’t define me as much because I’ll have the opportunity to take classes with upperclassmen. I’ll be a freshman again, but who I’m going to be seen as by older classmates is much more than just a freshman.

Dylan: I’ll still have my senior-in-high-school level of maturity.

Charlie G: BB&N is also smaller than most of the schools we’re entering. We’re going to meet a lot more people, which I’m pretty excited about. There will be a wider range of differences between classmates since we’re coming from all over the world, so the difference between grades won’t stick out as much. What do you hope your legacy at the school will be?

Dylan: I made a lot of friends with teachers. I also made a big impact on the student newspaper here.

(The Vanguard thanks Dylan for his “big impact.”)

Charlie D: Yeah, that’s Dylan: friend of all teachers.

Konstantin: I’ve made a lot of strong bonds with underclassmen. There’s a culture at BB&N where students are confined to their grade, but I hope that my legacy will be bridging that gap.

Charlie G: I think of myself as a big community member: A peer counselor, a Bivouac Junior Guide, and a flip-ologist. These platforms have allowed me to build a lot of bonds with this incoming freshman class and the community in general. I am proud I’ve given back to my community, and I hope that’s my legacy.

Charlie D: BB&N is not a really cliquey place, and when people enter BB&N thinking that high schools are cliquey, they’ll feel comfortable sticking to the same people. But being cliquey isn’t me. There are a lot of people I’m close friends with, and I’m friends with so many other people in the grade. There are multiple times when the seniors gather outside of school with almost the entire grade present, and we’re all really close friends Konstantin, Dylan, Charlie, and I, we’re friends with most people.

Konstantin: I’ll add that the cliqueness changed a lot in senior year. It was a little
cliquey until senior year. Because of finally being able to be together in large groups
after COVID too, the senior class bonded a lot this year.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?

Dylan: BB&N students like to talk up how they’re staying up really late to finish homework. They say they’re taking so many hard classes therefore they get no sleep. You can have a very balanced life here: take hard classes, be social, and get sleep.

Konstantin: If your mentality is ‘I’m not going to sleep tonight since I have too much work,’ that will come into fruition. No teacher here will give you so much work that you literally can’t finish it. You must know you can do it. And when you start believing you can go to bed at 10 p.m. each night, school life gets a lot less stressful. And if you reach worst case scenario and you can’t finish your work, it really is better to just call it a night rather than stay up that extra hour and study. The teachers really do want you to succeed holistically rather than turning in that one assignment.

Charlie D: The final goal of BB&N is not college, and everyone, especially juniors and seniors in the fall, believe that’s why they’re at BB&N. When everyone focuses on college so much, it makes you lose four years of high school because you’re fixated on the future. The process is too random to put so much emotional weight on it. Don’t compare yourself to other people when people get into colleges for so many reasons.

Charlie G: Sophomore year, the four of us would do some random shenanigans in the Pratt Room. We would take markers and just chuck ‘em at each other like we were playing football. We also took a lot of pictures of each other on each other’s backs. We did a lot of gymnastic tricks and stuff like that. That’s my advice. Use every free block for at least five minutes of shenanigans. The hustle and bustle of BB&N can feel never-ending. It’s easy to get caught up with the amount of work you have for the night and forgo taking a break, which in the long run makes you less productive throughout the entire day.

Dylan: Do your work when feeling refreshed and the quality of work will be a lot higher.

Konstantin: Obviously, I’d say every free block you should be taking at least a small break. But free blocks are also a good opportunity to do work. For example, if you don’t want to stay up late, you should use free to get a head start on your homework, and sometimes also starting work makes you realize it’s a lot less work than you made it out to be.

 

Who’s your role model?

Dylan: Konstantin.

Konstantin: Me in ten years.

(English teacher and Junior Class Dean Beth MacNamara strolls within earshot of
the game).

Charlie G: Beth MacNamara is probably my role model. Definitely Ms. Mac.

Charlie D: That’s a solid answer.

Charlie D: Michael Allan Chapman Jr. for his positive outlook on life!

Dylan: My dog.

Charlie G: God.

Ms. Mac: The best parts of a lot of different people.

 

What’s the best part of the BB&N campus?

Dylan: The Chorale Room.

Konstantin: The woodshop is super breathtaking. It smells good too. It’s also motivating; I have no idea what in there motivates me to craft, but whenever I step foot in the woodshop, I feel ready for some manual labor.

 

What will you miss most about BB&N?

Konstantin: The people. The students have become my closest friends, and the teachers have drastically changed me. Entering freshman year, people were hating on many teachers, but after going through BB&N, there have never been any teachers I don’t like.

Charlie D: I can’t think of any teachers who are bad.

Charlie D: A few days ago in in our senior class Friday meeting, we got separated into our birthday months, so I hung out with all the May kids for 20 minutes. There was no one who seemed left out; I’ll miss how we’re friends with every single person in our grade.